In January this year, Red Hook Studios raised the bar for the roguelike genre with the beautifully crafted Darkest Dungeon, a brutally depressing yet stupidly fun dungeon crawling RPG supported by morbidly stunning visuals, narration the likes of which the gaming industry has never seen before and fantastic soundtrack brought to life by veteran composer Stuart Chatwood. The gameplay utilizes so many unique mechanics that blend together perfectly to give the player an unforgiving but unforgettably enjoyable experience. Players must preserve light, food, medicine and other supplies to keep their four heroes; each with their own unique abilities and traits, chosen out of a vast roster of available classes, healthy and willing to move on.
What makes this game one of the most unique dungeon crawlers of all time is the stress system. As you delve deeper into dungeons laden with traps and foul unearthly creatures, your heroes get stressed over time and although this stress is reduced when a sliver of hope is regained after a victory or an unexpected valuable discovery, eventually, a threshold is crossed and the heroes either lose all hope and choose to act upon their own will instead of that of the players or they overcome their burdens with admirable resolve and are strengthened for the rest of the journey. As you progress through the game, journeys become longer and harder, to compensate for lack of supplies to last your heroes in seemingly never ending dungeons, a camping system is introduced where heroes can rest and let go of their stress as well as fill their stomachs before once again delving deep into a pit of despair.
When a dungeon is overcome, our heroes return to the Hamlet, the game’s iteration of a home base, and each individual character can train, have their weapons upgraded or have their stress relieved and diseases cured according to their own randomly generated traits.
This game is no short of a masterpiece and it’s already phenomenal and vast amount of content is now set to grow even larger with the new ‘’Crimson Court’’ DLC announced by Red Hook on their official website and social media pages. There are not many details that have been revealed aside from a new playable class. The DLC is slated for release in early 2017.
Darkest Dungeon is available now on PS4, PS Vita and Steam. The DLC will be releasing for all of these platforms.